A big part of Daisy didn't want to go back to the Lighthouse. After everything, the others, Coulson wanting to die, digging up her own mother's grave in a desperate bid to save him only to find out he'd been kidnapped again, she was just tired. She wanted to curl up into a ball and hide.
It didn't matter what she did, that was becoming clearer and clearer. She could try to lead the team but they wouldn't listen. She could try to stay in the future to save the world but Coulson brought her back. She could try to save Coulson but he didn't want her to. She could dig up her mother's grave and it still wouldn't be enough.
All trying had done was bring her pain. It had made her best friend slice her open, her team hate her, had made her the Destroyer of Worlds. Maybe if she just stopped trying then the world would be saved. Quake couldn't destroy anything if she wasn't Quake anymore.
She wanted to run away. Hide at some motel by herself. No one there could tell her she should have stayed in the future and died. No one there would cut her open and tell her to stop acting like it was a big deal. If she had no one, there was no one to lose.
But she knew from experience that having no one didn't work for her either.
So Daisy shuffled through the halls of the Lighthouse, not sure what she even wanted to do. Coulson was gone. Maybe for good. Her friends all hated her and now she was going to destroy the world because she couldn't stop it. She couldn't change anything, no matter how hard she tried.
She couldn't do this anymore. It was too much.
Daisy barely noticed May's presence when she quietly entered the control room, placing the large vial on the table, ignoring the gaping hole in the ceiling. It didn't matter. None of it mattered.
A voice made her look up "Daisy? Are you alright?" May, of course. One of the only people left who even pretended to care.
May saw the way her throat worked for several seconds before she answered. "Yeah," Daisy said, plastering on a fake, twitching smile. The kind that May knew was barely hiding how much everything behind it was crumbling. "I'm fine."
May raised an eyebrow and looked at the vial Daisy had placed on the table. "What is this?" Whatever it was it didn't look right. It was something organic and old and slightly decomposed.
Daisy swallowed. "I- Tony had all the- the stuff Garrett used for the Centipede serum, but there was- one thing that Hydra had, it-it kept him from aging, and..." She trailed off into silence, biting forcibly on her bottom lip to keep from reacting.
With a jolt, May realised what the thing was. Where it had come from. "This- is this your mother's heart?!"
Daisy was silent for a long time before she managed to shrug. "It doesn't matter." She turned away, going to look at the monitor.
"Daisy, you're shaking."
She tried to hold herself still. "It's nothing. Just my powers acting up."
May approached her slowly so as not to spook her. Daisy's powers never played up for no reason.
Daisy didn't move as May stood next to her and put one hand on her shoulder. "It'll be okay."
She didn't know why those words cracked her open. Why the slightest touch broke her as surely as she would break the Earth.
Daisy was ashamed at how quickly and easily she could collapse into May's arms and sob into her shoulder. She hated it. Hated it. It was one thing to be a pathetic waste, it was one thing to not be able to fix any of the problems she wanted to solve, to fail so utterly as an agent and a leader that she would end the world. It was another thing for someone she cared about and respected so much to see it.
She tried to make the tears stop. Make her breathing slow, make the tremors of her body still, but none of it went away. It only got worse, so she hiccupped into May's shoulder and clung to her even tighter.
"It's okay." May murmured, cradling her head. "You're okay."
Daisy wanted to tell her that she wasn't. That nothing was okay. That her friends hated her and Coulson was gone and maybe nothing they could do would save him, but she couldn't even do that. The words wouldn't come, her throat wouldn't stop constricting, she couldn't stop crying. It was too much.
Normally she would feel the footsteps coming, or at the very least hear them. But her powers were on the fritz and Daisy could hardly hear anything over the sound of her own heart pounding in her ears and May's comforting voice.
It wasn't until the footsteps entered that Daisy noticed them, and she rocketed away from May as quickly as she could, wiping her eyes on her sleeve even as the tears continued to flow. She couldn't let them see.
She kept her eyes fixed on the keyboard, typing despite barely being able to see through the tears that refused to stop. Fitzsimmons, and Elena. The last people she wanted to see right now. They already thought she was expendable and weak. She didn't need to prove them right.
May had been trying very hard not to be angry at any of the team for hurting Daisy, but right now it was difficult. Seeing the three of them frozen in place at the sight of Daisy hunched over in tears, trying to fix the problem as usual, had her narrowing her eyes.
Fitz took a step forward. "Daisy, is everything okay?"
She wiped her eyes on the heel of her hand. "Fine." She muttered stuffily.
He hesitated before getting a little closer. "We'll get Coulson back." Fitz said. "You know we will."
He went to put a hand on her shoulder, but was surprised when Daisy shot away from his touch, trying to stand but immediately tripping over the chair and falling onto the floor.
Fitz's eyes widened with concern as he squatted beside her, holding out a hand to help her up. "You okay? It's alright, it's just me."
Far from making her relax, Daisy pushed herself further away from him, her powers now shaking the floor too. "D-don't." She begged, her breathing getting fast to the point of hyperventilation. "Please."
May was on the verge of pulling Fitz away and kicking the three of them out when another sharp voice spoke.
"Fitz." Jemma said in a steely voice, her teeth gritted. "Get. Away. From. Her."
He looked up at her. "What? I'm not gonna hurt-" Oh. There it was again. The guilt he had tried to hard to bury or excuse away. Hurting Daisy was okay because it was for the greater good. Saving the world was worth the cost, and he had been ignoring that cost.
He thought that cost was Daisy hating him, and he'd accepted that. Fitz knew he had hurt her, and he knew she would hate him for it. Only now did he see that the hatred was a facade. Daisy didn't hate him. She was scared and she was hurt. Scared of him. Didn't want him near her because of what he'd done. What he had decided was the right thing.
Fitz straightened and backed away, holding his hands up peacefully. "I'm sorry." He murmured. "I didn't-" He bit his lip. "I'm sorry Daisy."
Daisy bowed her head, hiding her face behind her knees. "Just go." She whispered. "Please."
"Okay." Fitz murmured. "I- I understand." Without hesitation he turned and left, stopping at the door to look back at her with a forlorn expression.
Daisy didn't even look up as he left. She just wanted them all to leave. She wanted them to stop looking at her.
Of course they wouldn't even do that. She felt Jemma and Elena approaching, one moving to sit beside her, the other giving her space.
May silently slipped into a chair, watching, waiting. She knew that those three needed to understand how much Daisy had been trying to do, and Daisy needed them right now. She needed them to be her friends, but that didn't mean May wouldn't stay.
Just in case Daisy needed her too.
Jemma extended a hand but then thought better of it. "It's alright." She said softly. "Fitz is gone."
Daisy didn't respond and Jemma bit her lip. "I-I'm sorry." She murmured. "It's- hard for me to accept what he did, what- what he was, so I tried to push it away. I never wanted to hurt you, Daisy."
Daisy shook her head. "S'okay." She mumbled. "I don't- I don't matter anyway."
"What?" Elena seemed stunned that she would even say that. "Of course you matter, how can you even think that?"
Daisy shrugged, keeping her face hidden, not even bothering to bottle her tears. "I-I can't do anything right. Can't- lead the team, can't stay behind to save the world, can't... can't save someone I love- I-I-" Her breath was coming in hiccups and gasps now, "I can't even find a way to keep us a family."
Jemma and Elena exchanged a look and the latter shifted closer. "We need you." She said softly. "We're a team."
Daisy huffed. "You could have fooled me."
Elena paused, noting the venom in her voice. "Coulson chose you for a reason."
"Who cares?" Daisy muttered, curling further into herself as if ashamed. "No one else did."
Elena swallowed and looked down. "I-I'm sorry I said that." She extended a hand to gently rest on Daisy's shoulder and noted that though she twitched, she didn't push her away.
"It's okay." Daisy whispered again. "N-no one ever chooses me, I get it."
"Hey," Elena said, "Don't talk about yourself like that. We need you to lead."
"No you don't." Daisy growled. "None of you want me to lead, you don't need me." Her voice trembled. "I-I can't- I can't do it."
She wanted to be angry, she wanted to force them to do what she had done and defy them at every turn, push against anything they said, make them feel like she did. But Daisy couldn't do it. All she could do was tremble as a fresh wave of tears broke forth and her powers shook the control room.
A pair of warm arms wrapped around her. "It's okay." Jemma murmured. "You don't have to come up with the whole solution, remember?"
Daisy bit down on her lip to keep from sobbing. "I-I'm not a piece of the solution though. I'm- I'm the problem. I'm always the problem." Her voice got gradually softer until the last words were barely audible, and Daisy dissolved into quiet sobs.
Jemma's arms tightened around her as she let her forehead rest against Daisy's shoulder. "You're not a problem." She said firmly. "You're my best friend."
Daisy hiccupped. "Y-you c-can get a- a better one." Her breath was short. Words were hard.
"Impossible." Jemma murmured, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. "I love you."
The room shuddered, the monitors and furniture around them rattling with the force of it, and Daisy collapsed into Jemma's embrace with it, her body shaking as she sobbed.
Daisy felt Elena shifting closer until she was pressed up against her, the presence of her friends now surrounding her.
Melinda made to stand but stopped herself. The last thing she wanted was for Daisy to feel overwhelmed. And she was already most of the way there.
"You're a good leader." Elena murmured, pressing a kiss to Daisy's hair. "You are so strong, mija."
Daisy snorted. "Look at me." She muttered, not looking up. "I'm not strong."
"Yes you are." Elena said firmly. "We- we have not been fair to you, and I am sorry. But you, you have been amazing. You make the right calls, you listen. We were the ones not listening. "
Jemma wiped her eyes. "I'm sorry too." She murmured. "I didn't- I didn't want to think about what Fitz did. I didn't want to accept that he's sick and- needs help. I thought that the two of us could fix this, but all we did was make it worse."
May stood. "None of us have the whole solution." She said softly.
Daisy sniffled and finally looked up. "Pieces solving a puzzle."
She nodded. "That's right."
Daisy snorted. "You should be in charge." She asked. "You- you get it. You know everything."
Instead of responding right away, May slowly moved closer until she was sitting in front of her. "I don't know everything." She said gently. "'Pieces solving the puzzle' are your words, not mine."
"Still." Daisy muttered. "You know more than me."
"I don't know what to do now." May hesitated. "What do you think?"
Daisy swallowed. "I think... Coulson's a piece of this puzzle too. So we should go get him." She bit her lip and looked to the other two questioningly.
Jemma smiled. "Yes, of course." She said warmly. "Coulson's part of our team after all. We can't just leave him." She pushed herself to her feet. "Should I get Fitz and figure out how to scan that ship?"
Daisy nodded. "Thank you."
"It's the least I can do." Jemma said, and after a moment of consideration, she leaned back down to wrap Daisy in a tight hug. Daisy returned it on impulse, melting that little bit more when Jemma pressed a kiss to her cheek. "I love you." Jemma whispered into her ear.
Daisy snuggled closer, knowing that she would pull away soon. "You too."
Jemma loosened her arms from around Daisy and stood back up. "I'll let you know as soon as we find anything." She promised.
Jemma had barely left the room when a far stronger set of arms pulled her into a hug, making Daisy gasp for breath. "Yoyo-" She choked. "A-arms."
Elena's eyes widened. "Sorry!" She exclaimed, releasing her. "Sorry, I- I am still getting used to- to them."
Daisy coughed, shaking her head. "It's okay. I-I appreciate the sentiment."
Elena flushed slightly and took her hand, taking care to be more gentle. "We will find him." She promised, moving to stand. "I don't know if we can save his life, but the least we can do is bring him back. I will get to work. What do you want me to do?"
Daisy hesitated, thinking. "Tell Mack to get the Zephyr fueled up and ready. We'll need it."
"Done." Elena said. She turned to leave and didn't stop until she reached the doorway. "If you need anything I will be in the hanger."
Daisy nodded with a grateful smile, but said nothing.
As Elena's footsteps faded, Daisy let out a long breath, her shoulders sagging.
"You did good." May murmured. "You brought everyone together."
Daisy scoffed. "All I did was have an emotional breakdown." She muttered, toying with the grating on the ground.
"That doesn't make you weak."
"I didn't say it did."
"You were thinking it." May pushed herself to her feet, extending a hand to her. "Come on. We've got work to do."
Daisy looked at her for a moment. "Okay." She took May's hand and stood, only to find herself wrapped in yet another hug.
After she had gotten over her surprise, Daisy laughed. "How come you give the best hugs?"
"It's my superpower."
"Best superpower ever." Daisy smiled. "Thank you, for... for everything." She squeezed May tighter. "I love you."
May smiled. "Love you too." She murmured. "Now get back to work. We both know Coulson's not going to save himself."
Daisy pulled away. "Okay. Let's do this." As overwhelming as it had all seemed mere hours ago, now she was confident. Their team could handle anything together.
All they needed was the last piece.